When a pet gets a flea infestation, it is not a fun time for the animal or the owner. Fleas are small parasites that cause your pet to feel itchy, and they can cause skin problems if left untreated. You will want to do whatever you can to remove the fleas from your pet safely and effectively. Here are some tips you can use in battling a flea infestation.
Start With The Pet
If you noticed fleas in your pet's fur, there are a few ways you can try to remove them. The best way is to go to your veterinarian to buy a flea treatment. This is a topical treatment that is placed at the nape of the neck so your pet is unable to lick at the medicine after it is applied. This type of treatment usually works within a day to kill all fleas on the pet.
If you cannot get to your veterinarian right away, give your pet a bath using a few teaspoons of mild dishwashing detergent mixed with warm water. Do not use a flea spray or shampoo if you plan on using a topical treatment in the next few days, as too many pesticides on your pet in a short amount of time can be harmful to their health.
Since topical treatments are too harsh for smaller animals like rabbits or ferrets, you would need to try a combination of shampooing and combing to remove fleas. Follow instructions on the flea shampoo precisely to keep fleas from returning.
Continue With The Home
After your pet has been treated, your home will need to be treated. If you fail to clean up a home that has fleas in carpeting or bedding, they will end up back on your pet after their treatment medication wears off. Flea eggs take several weeks to hatch, so even if there are no visible fleas in your home now, they may reemerge in the weeks to come.
Vacuum your entire home, making sure to get all corners and areas underneath furniture. Place some flea powder in the vacuum cleaner bag or storage bin to help kill fleas you trap. Throw away the collected contents immediately so any living fleas do not find their way back out into your home. Use flea powder or spray on any pet bedding and furniture that your pet frequents.
Consider using a flea bomb to kill any remaining fleas in your home. Using a flea bomb will release a misting pesticide, so you should take precautions such as putting away all food items and dishes and getting all animals and people out of the structure as the pesticide is released. This treatment will kill both fleas and eggs, breaking the entire life cycle.
Keeping Fleas Away
After you have treated your pet and your home, you will want to keep fleas from returning. Treat your lawn with an insecticide if your pet goes outdoors. Keep your lawn trimmed down and spot check your legs before entering your home to make sure you are not bringing any fleas inside. If your pet goes outdoors, treat them with a topical treatment monthly so fleas do not get a chance to settle into their fur.
If the infestation persists after applying these methods, take your dog to a pet hospital and ask a vet what you can do for your dog and your home.